Friday, August 17, 2007

100+ mile week

It was a good week on the bike. I biked to work both Tuesday and Wednesday, and these trips were so routine as to not deserve any further mention. I am noticing that about the latest I can leave in the morning is around 6:10 to 6:15 am, and sunrise is now after 6:00. So I'm not exactly sure how much longer I'll be able to continue commuting with this tour of duty. It really does pile up the miles, though. I've biked in 15 times this year, for a total of around 500 miles.

The SWC ride Thursday was a choice of either a 19.5 or a 16.5. Given the early darkness, cloudiness, and chance of t-storms, I opted for the 16.5, which we then cut short to 13.4, arriving back at the host's house just as raindrops began to fall.

On Saturday, I did a northeastern Great Sacandaga Lake loop, starting at a camp north of the Edinburgh bridge on the east shore, and going counter-clockwise. This was to be a 30.4-mile loop on mostly flat to rolling roads. When we got to the west shore, around 18 miles or so into the ride, traffic was picking up, so we decided to take an alternate route. Old Military Road runs parallel to the lake road, but at a higher elevation, and with no traffic. That meant an initial climb up away from the lake. Well, that climb up Yates Hill Road was a monster. The first half-mile climbed over 500 feet, averaging a 13% grade, with a couple of steeper sections. I was in my lowest granny (21 gear-inches), and was zig-zagging across the hill at about 4 mph. Several in the group walked that lower section but a couple of us made it all the way up. Once we got to the top, the rest was a great ride on a quiet road, with a lot of downhill at the other end. Back to the camp for burgers and beer after 32.4 miles, and the satisfaction of having conquered that climb.

Off to Orlando for a week, so no more riding until maybe next weekend.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back to normal

I've been told that I seem more "normal" now that the big trip of the year is over, in that I'm no longer obsessing about the planning, and focusing on the trip to the exclusion of all else. I guess that's a good thing. But it was all a good experience, and a really enjoyable way to travel.

Last night's SWC ride was my first time back on the bike in almost a week, and it had to be the Mariaville loop. I didn't have any problem with the hills, but there's always the problem of pushing harder on one of these group rides. I got out of "tour mode" at several points, and put the hammer down. So today I'm tired.

I'm trying to think of a good relatively local ride to occupy a free Saturday tomorrow, but so far am coming up blank. Maybe I'll go hike something instead. Will see what the morning brings.